Building digital tools to help citizens push for transparency and good governance in Hungary
Corruption has grown in Hungary amid right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s nationalist push for “illiberal democracy,” further destabilizing democratic institutions and trust in government. The state has become the main source of corruption and citizens see few chances to stand up against it, as corrupt acts go without consequences. Many are lacking the tools to actively engage against the misuse of public funds or are afraid of consequences.
K-Monitor is an anti-corruption watchdog working to give citizens the tools to boost transparency, democracy, and the rule of law in Hungary. Specifically, it 1) maintains public databases of spending- and corruption-related information; 2) builds civic tech tools to help average citizens understand and use that data; 3) produces research based on its own analysis of that data; 4) hosts events to rally others to use that data or organize other events; and 5) advocates for anti-corruption reforms. Each month, tens of thousands of Hungarians use its dozen-plus products, which range from a basic budget visualization tool for citizens to see how public money is spent, to a national open data catalogue for techies to build other transparency tools, to an algorithmic risk indicator that scans public procurement documents to flag likely corruption for journalists.
My civic hero:
“Mr. Koophuis and Mr. Kraler” from Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl (and their real-life equivalents, Kleiman and Kugler).